October 2015

St. Paul Cruise Day 6 Thessaloniki 

by Steve Ray on October 31, 2015

Last night we had some amazing winds and waves but everyone weathered well. It was amazing to meditate and St. Paul and the, at least for shipwrecks he experienced, and to be able to see the waves and the wind as he would’ve seen it on the Mediterranean Sea.

We are on a large heavy luxury cruise ship but when Paul and his companions, and Saint John and Mary heading for Ephesus and back to Jerusalem, and other sea-faring travelers voyaged the Mediterranean, they didn’t have the luxury we experienced. And those days they had to rent space on the deck of cargo ships and provide all of their own supplies for the voyage.

Imagining the life and traveling experience and sufferings of the early Christians puts us to shame.

Today we started our our day with Mass at the Catholic Cathedral in Thessaloniki Greece. From there we did a tour of the Thessaloniki and came back for a great lunch and some free time. Some of the folks went back into Thessaloniki to explore some more.

Later in the day I gave my talk “The Life and Teaching of St. Paul” to get everyone ready for all of the sites will visit in the next few days.

Then another good dinner and a free evening before heading north to Philippi. Enjoy the videos.




From Italy to Greece

by JesseRay on October 31, 2015

We stepped off Italian soil and onto the beautiful ferry that took us all the way to Patras Greece, where St. Andrew’s skull is venerated. We then took a bus ride to Athens where we meet up with the cruise ship that will carry us like a floating hotel to all the amazing locations of St. Paul.

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Fr. Larry’s homily during Mass on our ship.

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Highlights of the day…

Homily at Lanciano 


Visiting the Pope, then Visiting Jesus: Our Journey across Italy

October 28, 2015

  Everyone saw the Pope! The highlight of everyone’s trip to Rome is the General Audience with the pope. And even though it was raining when we started it cleared up and was nice for everyone during his welcome and talks in Saint Peter’s Square.  Our pilgrims had good seats and were able to get close-up […]

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Second Day of Pilgrimage Cruise: Mass at Tomb of St. JP II, Death of St. Paul and more

October 27, 2015

Second full day of our trip. A greeting from Fr. Larry Richards and his homily at the Altar Tomb of St. John Paul II. Today was a day of St. Paul: the site of his martyrdom, the Church of St. Paul outside the Walls where his tomb is today and the Catacombs of St. Sebastian […]

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Brief Overviews of Paul’s Life – from the Place He Was Beheaded – Free Timeline

October 27, 2015

Since we visited these sites today, I thought I would share these two videos: 1) Short Biography of St. Paul from the Place he was Martyred; 2) a Tour of the Sites of St. Paul’s Last Days. Enjoy! A while ago I gave a short biography of St. Paul at Tre Fontone where St. Paul […]

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Don’t be Fearful of Coming to the Holy Land –  Why Not?

October 26, 2015

Israel is making headlines again. Americans find themselves glued to the news and recoiling from the idea of a pilgrimage to the land of Jesus.  A funny thing: in Chicago 40 people a week are murdered. It is the same in many other major US cities but we never hear about it – it doesn’t […]

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Embarking on our 14 Day St. Paul Pilgrimage Seminar Cruise! Bella Roma!!

October 26, 2015

Today everyone arrived and we took off to see Ancient Rome: Peter and Paul’s Mammertine Prison, the Roman Forum, the Coliseum, San Clemente Church and Mass with a tour at St. John Lateran – the Mother Church of the World with the Chair of St. Peter. Great dinner at La Pilotta Di Mario and home […]

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Who Has Right to Temple Mount? Why Fearful of Analyzing Muslim Story?

October 25, 2015

Since we have two sold-out pilgrimage groups still going Israel this year and six more next year, I thought this would be interesting for two reasons: 1) To inform folks that things are calming down and will be no problem for our 2015 pilgrims (it would have been no problem even as it was); and […]

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Watching Rush of Wind and Flutter of Wings over the Vatican

October 23, 2015

This morning  Janet and I are in Rome for a few days awaiting our pilgrimage group as we embark across Italy and then by ship voyaging around Greece and Turkey to follow the footprints of St. Paul and the Early Church. This morning, from the rooftop of our rented apartment as we eat breakfast, we’re looking […]

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Conscience and Communion and Marital Issues

October 21, 2015

STEVE RAY HERE: After the excerpts from an interview with Archbishop Cupich there has been a lot of discussion raging around the issue of conscience and divorce and remarriage and gay marriage. There’s a fear that everyone knows the laws of the Church cannot be changed but they can possibly change the way the laws […]

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If Divorce and Remarriage are OK …

October 20, 2015

  If divorce and remarriage becomes acceptable (or gay marriage) then did St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher die for nothing? Was John the Baptist beheaded for nothing? King Henry VIII was right after all? Reas excellent article by Archbishop Samuel Aquila

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An Untimely Death: Fr. Shane Tharp, my dear friend, RIP

October 17, 2015

One of the most brilliant man I’ve ever known. And intellect of my new mental ability, develop faith, tremendous humor and a great Catholic priest. He has been a chaplain with us and pilgrimages many times, and I’ve done parish missions for him several times and beyond all that he was a dear and trusted […]

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Acton Institute Analyzes Pope Francis’ Address to Congress, after the fact

October 15, 2015

I can’t lie and say I was overly enthusiastic about the Pope’s address to Congress and the United Nations. There was a lot I wish he would have said that was not. However, I agree with the Acton Institute’s assessment of his address to Congress. Given Washington DC’s nature, Pope Francis’s address to Congress was […]

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Responding to Standard Anti-Catholic Nonsense Claims…

October 14, 2015

The other day a young woman who has decided to live the life of a Catholic and follow the teaching of the Church was accosted by her family who are very anti-Catholic. They have her a list of questions from a standard “Quick Reference Guide” which you can see on this page. She asked for […]

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Our Vibrant Catholic Youth Conference here on Malta!

October 11, 2015

We are just finishing up our 10 days here on Malta with the Catholic Youth Conference here.  I thought that some of you might enjoy seeing the vibrancy of the young people here on the island of Malta. It certainly encouraged Janet and I. We thought it might encourage and bless you as well.  Let’s […]

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